TESN BEST: Gifts for your mommy

by Amy Kingsley


Okay. We’re a little late on this one. But Mother’s Day shouldn’t be the only day of the year you ingrates lavish a little love on your moms. So surprise her this week or next with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Both farmers markets have plenty of vendors to choose from, and if you show up late, sometimes they’ll cut you a deal. Of course, if your mom lives far away – like mine – you might be better off using a national service like FTD.


I’m pretty keen on both alcohol and eggs, so it should come as no surprise that brunch is my favorite meal. With options that range from sandwiches to omelets, champagne to vodka, brunch has a little bit of something for everyone. Corral your mother and treat her to a long, lavish, moderately inebriated brunch. Depending on your cooking skills and financial resources, this treat can be concocted on a budget in your own, or your mom’s own, home.


This one should be handled with care, and attempted only by those with moderate to advanced knowledge of top, middle and base notes. Also, know what your mom likes. A quick inspection of her scent collection should provide most of the information necessary for a successful transaction at the perfume counter. A word of warning: Peer-reviewed journals have correlated perfume exposure to asthma attacks and skin eruptions. So stick to high quality products and avoid artificial ingredients.

A trip to the male revue

Oiled male musculature might not be a slam-dunk. Indeed, this present will only be appreciated by a very specific kind of mother. Does your mom maintain platinum locks, pilot a Harley Davidson or employ an aggressive approach to male seduction? Does she drool in the presence of firemen, police officers and cowboys? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your mom might enjoy an evening at the all-male revue.

Homemade gift

My roommate Noah is an artist, and come holiday time he burns the midnight oil making homemade gifts for the people in his life. This Mothers Day he’ll be hanging out with his mom. Before then, he’ll be in the basement assembling something of beauty from the scraps of wood, fabric and paint tucked into every corner of his workshop. If you’re less crafty, you can try your hand at card making, although after elementary school, parents find this considerably less charming.


This one’s kind of lame if you live in the same zip code as your mom. But if you’ve moved away and can surprise her with an unannounced visit, do it. If you show up with a gift in hand, hey, that’s even better. Moms like to see their children, so I hear. And children like to see their moms… sometimes. Anyway, visits are always nice, and a good habit to maintain; visits keep the inevitable drift of adulthood at bay.

Spa treatments

Moms like massages. Facials, pedicures and makeovers, too. All those services can be had at your local spa. Those with the means should splurge on a full or half-day package. Hours of pampering will go some of the way toward alleviating the debt each existence carries in hours of excrutiating labor. Of course, no amount of soothing new age music can make up for what you put your mother through during high school.

Sports tickets

Not all moms are interested in the posh life. I’m from Texas and grew up in a family where the annual post-Thanksgiving ritual involved watching UT take on its archrivals at Texas A&M University. I’m sure my mom would love to see the game in person sometime, although it falls several months after we celebrate mother’s day. If your mom is a baseball or basketball fan, the timing works out better.


Boxes of chocolates make for a reliable backup. Unless you spring for Chocopologie by Knipschildt – a single piece of candy stuffed with rare black truffle and wrapped in Valrhona chocolate – your mom’s probably going to know you thought this one up somewhere in the Harris Teeter checkout line. Seriously, if you’re going to go for this one, select one of the upscale chocolate brands that have emerged of late, like MarieBelle or La Maison du Chocolat. By all means, avoid Whitman’s Samplers or any box bearing the Hershey name.


My mom loves dogs. Her house is teeming with them. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a head count, but I believe the current canine population at her place hovers somewhere between eight and 10. They’re Swedish Vallhunds, basically miniature German Shepherds with truncated legs. If I were a really devoted daughter, I would travel to the mother country to procure a puppy of royal lineage. But I’m not that good, sorry mom, and I’m really more of a cat person.